Microsoft Brings Personal Features to Teams on Windows and Web in Preview

Posted on November 19, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft 365 with 7 Comments

Microsoft announced that it is bringing the first personal features to Teams on Windows and the web in preview, plus a few new personal features for Teams on mobile.

“Today, we are excited to announce the preview of more new personal features in Teams that will make it even easier to manage and plan your days,” Microsoft’s Arjun Tomar announced. “We are also adding new features in preview in the Teams mobile app, such as the ability to chat with friends or family who don’t have Teams on their phones, location alerts that let you know when someone leaves or arrives at designated locations, and more.”

As you may recall, Microsoft brought its first personal features to Teams on mobile way back in June, including text chat and video calling; list, document, and calendar sharing; document collaboration and sharing; location sharing; and a new Safe feature for securely storing and sharing important information like passwords, rewards numbers, and login information. But customers were understandably curious when personal features would arrive in Teams for Windows and the web.

That day is now, though you may need to wait while these features “slowly roll out … to existing commercial users.” Also, your IT admin will need to enable this functionality within your organization.

When all that happens, you can expect the following new features:

Add your Microsoft account to Teams. You will be able to switch between your work and home accounts in Team for Windows and the web.

Chat and call friends and family. You can use the Teams desktop or web app to call friends and family, even if they don’t have Teams installed. Chats can include up to 250 people, video and audio calls are free, and you can see up to 49 of your friends and families in Gallery view or Together mode. You can also share photos and videos.

Additionally, Microsoft is adding the following personal features to Teams on mobile:

Chat with people who don’t have the Teams app. Now, you can type a contact’s name or phone number to add them to a group chat. If they are not on Teams, they can receive and send replies to the group via SMS.

Get location-based notifications. Starting today, you can let friends of family members receive automatic alerts whenever you leave or arrive at a specific location. You can also provide automatic departure or arrival alerts to your family so they know when you leave home or come back.

Other new features. Microsoft is also adding the ability to add group events from chats to the device’s calendar, get task and location updates in your activity feed, and add a photo to your personal Safe to Teams on mobile.

The new mobile features have started to roll out in preview on the Teams mobile app and will be fully rolled out in the coming weeks, Microsoft says.

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